Jo Harris is one half of the dynamic sister duo behind homewares retailer Hunting for George. Jo and her sister, Lucy Glade-Wright started Hunting for George from a desire to create an online space that offered more than the norm. They kicked things off in 2010 in Jo's spare room with only a handful of products. Today it's quite a different story and the pair has come a long way. We caught up with Jo to find out more...
What’s Hunting for George’s secret to thriving in a saturated homewares market?
We are more than retailers, we are storytellers. We are all about telling unique stories and creating unique content, this has defined our brand and sets Hunting for George apart from our competitors.
Tell us about your decision to open a showroom and the effect this has had on the business?
We have always had Pop Up Shops and valued touching base with our customers on a face to face level whenever possible. The reason we opened our Richmond showroom was because our customers assumed we were a shop front and were therefore knocking on our doors wanting to come and browse. This was when we opened our doors permanently to provide an in-store experience.
We have always aimed to offer amazing customer service online by providing advice and information. The service in-store is the same as we offer our customers online, however they do have the added bonus of being able to see the products and our staff face to face.
We have a great number of locals who shop with us and giving these customers the ability to come and visit face to face was an easy decision for us to make. Customers often come into our shop with photos of their rooms to seek styling advice or like to chat to staff about gift ideas. Face to face is a wonderful touch point which we always want to offer to our community.
As a mum, what advice do you have for women thinking of juggling their own business with the demands of family life?
Having children does throw some extra challenges into running a business. I ventured into Hunting for George ultimately wanting flexibility. I do have it, but it has come with sacrifices in the earlier years. It will always be more of a challenge at the start as you grow your business, but as soon as you start building your team, do this well and start outsourcing! A supportive team that loves your business as much as you do will help ease the load.
What does the future hold for Hunting for George?
We are a very small team and we seem to take far bigger bites than we ought to. The next 12 months will see us tackle a few different projects. We are creating a new brand, expanding our own product lines, building new websites and playing around with pop ups. It’s safe to say we have many tasks on the to-do-list, so expect plenty of action from us this year.
If you could sit next to one famous person on a long flight, who would it be and why?
Honestly, a spare seat next to me would make my day! Maybe I should be picking the brains of a celeb, but a few hours of extra space and a movie would be my pick ;).